alexwyn (Hamilton) Wish Trip Jun 14-20, 2011

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by alexwyn, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. alexwyn

    alexwyn Earning My Ears

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    I am so excited about our upcoming Disney Make a Wish trip and I am sure my friends are tired of hearing about it so I thought I could share my excitement with you!

    Let me introduce you to my family. My very dear sweet husband and I have two awesome kids. Madison who just turned 11 and is a very talented competitive cheerleader and Hamilton (our Wish Kid) who is 4 years old and loves airplanes so much that if you ever meet him he will explain everything you ever wanted to know about planes, lift, thrust, and stall! When our wish volunteers came to talk to Hamilton about his wish it went something like this.....Carol (wish lady): Hey Hamilton if you could have anything in the world what would you want your wish to be?....Hamilton: Well I would like a fighter jet that spits out green smoke that fires missiles and makes this noise mmmmmmmmmzzzzzz! Carol: (looking at Ham in disbelief then looks down at her paperwork while saying Ok then one trip to Disney! (I warned her ahead of time that he would probably ask for a real fighter jet so if Make a Wish isn't handing out those then his second choice would be Disney)

    How did we end up here? Last year moved from Charlotte NC to Pittsburgh. My husband works for the airlines and had been commuting to and from and to give him a break we decided to move to Pit for a few years. We moved here in July and by Jan I had had enough! I guess my blood was Carolina thin and it is coooold up here. Last winter was the worst winter in something like 30 years and it was our first winter here. We couldn't get out of here soon enough, we just had to decide with school when was the best time to leave. The end of January was a Sunday and I was with the kids at Chuck E Cheese. They had a ball. Hamilton and Madison ate so much pizza and played games and didn't want to leave. About 3am Hamilton began to moan in his sleep. We asked what was wrong and he said his stomach hurt. I figured he was constipated from all that pizza. His discomfort never let up and by around 5am he still had the pain and developed a fever. Now I'm thinking he has some kind of wicked infection. My husband decided we needed to take him to see the doctor. It was zoo day at his school and since it was 7am when we took him to the doctor I figured he would get antibiotics and be at school in time to see the animals. His regular doctor had no openings so we ended up at Children's ER. By this time he is still in pain and since he never complains it seemed pretty serious. The resident came in poked around his belly and said he thought he was constipated. I looked at him and said no, this is not constipation. I've seen constipation and this is not it. He called in his attending, she felt his belly once on the left once on the right and said his liver and spleen are very swollen. We were floored. They wanted to do blood work. The nurse came in and said he was very, very anemic. We once again were floored. Remember Chuck E Cheese? Running around like crazy, no bruising, no bleeding, noooo fatigue, not even any colds. He was so healthy. But ok that's cool. We will get our prescription of iron pills, get signed out, and still make zoo day. Nurse comes back in and says ah, Hamilton's blood work 'looks funny' and we are calling oncology to come down and talk to you! Husband says to me oncology? Isn't that the cancer doctor?! There must be a mistake we are here for the infection with a side of anemia! We were, you guessed it, floored. Oncology comes down and says I'm not sure but it could be an infection. Sometime it's easy to tell if it's an infection and sometimes like in Ham's case we can wait and see if it clears up or we can do a bone marrow aspirate (what? what is she talking about?) and that will tell us for sure but we think your son may have leukemia. (yep floored) If we wait and see if this is a virus and it is cancer (did she say cancer?) we lose valuable treatment time so what would you like to do? It all happened so fast. Of course we said lets do the test. We were admitted that Monday night and the next morning they did the test. By late afternoon we had a positive diagnosis. Thursday he was in surgery to place his port and they started chemo right after that. By Tuesday afternoon the cancer had spread so fast that he was a different kid. He was in so much pain he couldn't be touched or moved. His nurse left that night came back for her shift the next day and noticed he was in the exact same position as when she left. It was awful to see him look at us for help he just wanted the pain to stop and all the while being so strong. Our quick 'we will make it to zoo day' hospital visit turned into a 2 week stay. Remember we had not lived in Pit long and really didn't know anyone. Family was all out of town and we still had to take care of Madison. My neighbor helped with Madison and the people I met at Ham's preschool, even though they didn't know us well, were awesome. He has 3 more years of chemo treatment to go and we just take it day by day. We feel incredibly blessed to have this trip to look forward to since as you know illness is hard on everyone in the family especially siblings. Thank you for this site. I have learned so much not only about Disney but about human kindness (as you all support each other) and human will and strength and love (as I read about all of you with such challenges somehow still making it and still able and willing to give encouragement to others). I have a few questions that I will pick your brains on later I have talked enough for now! Take care.
    [​IMG]
    I hope this pic comes through. This is Madison and Hamilton (before his hair loss which was hard because he is a boy that loooves his hair) when he was first diagnosed. Because the snow was so bad he hadn't seen his sister in a couple of days. This was his first smile in days just seeing his sister.
     
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  3. jj0plin

    jj0plin Mouseketeer

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    Your kids are adorable!! I can't imagine 3 years of chemo, 7 months seemed like a lot. I am so glad he is getting his second wish ;) When you do go to Disney, know that Give Kids the World has a deal with Mauiva Air Tours and Hamilton can fly (with your family) in a 4 seater Cessna over Orlando for free. http://www.mauivaairtours.com/ I can't wait to follow along!
     
  4. cogero

    cogero DIS Veteran

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    Your kids are adorable. It is great your son is getting his wish
     
  5. alexwyn

    alexwyn Earning My Ears

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    Talk about adorable kids?!!! You have real heart breakers. I have to read your trip report. Thanks so much for the plane trip info. He will be over the moon to fly in a small plane. We plan to take one day and go to Kennedy Space Center. Yeah 3 years for boys since cancer can hide in more places in boys but I'm going to tell you 3 years or 7 months it's all tough:)
    Our dates are Jun 14-20.
     
  6. alexwyn

    alexwyn Earning My Ears

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    Thank you so much. We are so excited. I feel like I might have time to go on a date with my hubby:)
     
  7. tinytreasures

    tinytreasures DIS Veteran

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    Your Kids are adorable.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. angeque143

    angeque143 Mouseketeer

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    Welcome!! What a story!! the children are adorable!! LOVE THOSE DIMPLES!!!

    Great news that he is getting his wish!! I look forward to reading more!!
     
  9. alexwyn

    alexwyn Earning My Ears

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    Thank you so much! I need to know.... is this board addicting or am I the only one who should be doing so many other things but can't seem to stop reading about so many beautiful families?! I just need to know if this is normal or do I need an intervention?:laughing:
     
  10. billwendy

    billwendy DIS Veteran

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    I am so HAPPY that you are going on your wish trip!!!! Congrads!!!

    We have a kind of similar experience with my nephew(who took his MAW last year around this time). Went with his mom and little sister to the pediatrician because she was sick. Mom asks the Dr to check Daniel's ears because he has been complaining of a headache for a day or so. The Dr says something doesnt look right with his eyes so go directly to the ER????? What???? 2 days later we are visiting him in the PICU - his medullablastoma had been removed, and he would begin radiation and then chemo- WHAT???? My goodness, a few days sure change things! He did a year of chemo and has now been cancer free for a year. He has many motor and some learning difficulties now due to where his tumor was but, he is alive and well otherwise.

    My DH and I went along to help care for all the other (4 other )kids and Daniel and experienced alot of the MAW experience! So, if you have any questions, ask away!!!!:wizard:
     
  11. alexwyn

    alexwyn Earning My Ears

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    I am so happy for you to have heard those two beautiful words "Cancer Free" Since we haven't been in treatment that long those words sometimes feel so far away. You are so right what a difference a day makes. I love your ER? What? it made me chuckle because that's exactly what you are thinking at the moment. I have questions but today is clinic day and since two weeks ago we were in the ER more than we were home, clinic is nervous Nelly day for me. I am praying for get in, get chemo, and get out!
     
  12. Corrine 1973

    Corrine 1973 What do you mean I am not a princess, don't you se

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    I am so glad that Hamilton is getting his wish. It sounds like you guys have been through a lot lately and all deserve a little Disney magic.:wizard: Our family went in September of 2009 and still are talking about it. It certanly makes Liam's daily treatments a little more bareable. It also helps that we are going back in two months.

    It looks like you will be arriving just a couple of weeks after we leave. We will make sure to sprinkle some extra Pixie Dust around for you.:hippie:
     
  13. alexwyn

    alexwyn Earning My Ears

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    Ok after a few hospital visits and a IVIG I am ready with a couple of questions if anyone can help:)

    Photopass....I have seen the link for the discount. Is this worth it? What are your views on the photopass?

    Also if you try to eat at least one meal at GKTW what is your guess on how much you will spend eating while at the parks? I know I can pull up the character meal prices but have no clue what we should budget if we eat at the parks during the day. We are easy eaters too burgers, pizza etc will do us fine.

    Thanks so much.:goodvibes
     
  14. blessedmom4

    blessedmom4 WE BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! ~~Nearly twice as many chi

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    I do NOT know how I have missed your PTR!!! CONGRATS on the Wish trip, your children are so cute!!!! :goodvibes:goodvibes:goodvibes NC girl here...do you miss Charlotte?

    Thanks to Maroo and Disney, all Photopass CDs are FREE to Wish Children through GKTW/MAW. I can't answer the food question, I haven't been in a LONG time; however, there ARE ways to save money at counter service meals, by purchasing double burgers and extra buns...places like Pecos Bill have AWESOME topping bars!!!
     
  15. Corrine 1973

    Corrine 1973 What do you mean I am not a princess, don't you se

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    You can check out the Dining area on the main page of the DISboards. Most resturaunts have a menu and prices of the WDW eateries. Also remember that you can go to Walmart and buy some fixings for lunch for a lot cheaper. You are able to bring outside food into the park as long as you are willing to carry it around the park. :thumbsup2
     
  16. alexwyn

    alexwyn Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the reply. That's awesome we get a free CD. I just read Maroo's TR and I read it from start to finish in one sitting. She is an awesome writer! Boy do I miss Charlotte. We plan to go back as soon as Hamilton is more stable. The hospital here is great so I am a little nervous to switch.
     
  17. alexwyn

    alexwyn Earning My Ears

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    Thank you. If it means saving some money just call me pack mule! I plan to bring his stroller so I can put things in the bottom. Hopefully it will not be a steroid week when we go:)
     
  18. tinytreasures

    tinytreasures DIS Veteran

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    When we went on Jason's trip we made it a point to eat 2 meals at GKTW. It saved us money, plus my kids loved eating at the "Gingerbread House" We also brought a box of crackers per day so we had more then enough "treats" for the days in the park. We brought in bottled water too. Walmart is right there so this time I plan to buy when we get there instead of bringing it along :lmao:
    As for bringing stuff into the parks remember they have to search everything when you enter so be prepared to unload and reload the stroller.
    I have to say again how cute your kids are :love:
     
  19. alexwyn

    alexwyn Earning My Ears

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    Good tip. Was not sure if we could get back to GKTW once we were out but if it's do able that would be great. I am already feeling like I have to shave down my itinerary. Can I skip AK altogether or is that a no no:) We are going in Jun (hot hot hot) and we have to add Kennedy Space Center one day (Ham is a fly boy) Thoughts?
    (thanks for the compliment by the way:)
     
  20. alexwyn

    alexwyn Earning My Ears

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    So I am now in active planning mode:yay: I have my Diney Guides (all of them :) , Touringplan (I know they let us skip the lines but I am trying to plan for crowds too) but where do I find the activities at GKTW? I think Christmas is on Thur? Is there anything else a must see at GKTW? Can you leave the park (like go to MK for a few hours and go back in the evening) and go back in the evening and does anyone do that? Thanks hope everyone is doing ok.
     
  21. tinytreasures

    tinytreasures DIS Veteran

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    You want to make sure you plan in time to just hang at GKTW. You won't get to go back there again as a guest. There is so much to do there. Thursday nights is Winter wonderland.
    We took the time to do the meet and greets in the mornings. Then eat morning and night at the gingerbread house.
    Here is the link for what to do at GKTW
    http://www.gktw.org/pre/village/schedule.asp?p=village
     

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